BOOK REVIEW – Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga

BOOK REVIEW – Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry LygaGame (Jasper Dent #2)
by Barry Lyga
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Synopsis:

Billy grinned. “Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.”

I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent.

In an effort to prove murder didn’t run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo’s Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz’s door asking for help, he can’t say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple–and its police force–running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous game.

I have to admit it : although I was sure that I Hunt Killers was almost perfect, that was far from the truth. Because I knew nothing. Indeed contrary to many readers, Game was so damn better than the first for me.

I thought I was hooked in I hunt killers

It was nothing compared to what I felt here, my heart bouncing and bouncing, enthralled, captivated, caught in the story from page one, my mood quickly shifting from laughter to tears to anguish. This alternating in my feels? That’s what makes these books so special to me despite their flaws, despite the irregular pacing sometimes, despite the fact Jasper’s involvement by the police can appear highly unbelievable. I don’t care.

I thought I was attached to these characters

Truth being told, I couldn’t have been more wrong. What I felt then? Interest, yes, need to learn more, of course, but here? HERE? While going back and forth between the different POV (mostly Jazz, Howie and Connie’s) my affection for them reached an all new level.

Jazz first. Oh, Jazz. What an infuriating yet moving bastard. I can’t help but love him, even if his patronizing behavior towards the cops put me on the verge to roll my eyes at some points. Indeed although he learnt a great amount of serial killer tips while growing up, being Billy Dent’s kid and all, I must admit that the unfathomable depths of his knowledge flirts with the Gary Sue side sometimes. There. I said it. Anyway – What can explain how much I’m drawn to him? His manipulative behavior? His brooding personality? His tortured yet incredibly endearing self? I don’t really know, but the fact is, I adore him. Period.

“The truth – the real answer – was that he wanted to say but didn’t : This is what it feels like to be one of you. This is what it feels like to be vulnerable. And weak. And merely human.
This is what it feels like to be a prospect.”

Connie, who I loved hearing the thoughts, fierce and strong-minded as always. Yes she makes mistakes and yes she lands herself in danger, she does fucking dumb things at time… yet there wasn’t one moment when I couldn’t understand her (even if… I wouldn’t act this way). She’s Jasper Dent’s girlfriend for fucksake, of course she’s going to want to investigate, duh.

Howie, little (sic) Howie whose comments made me burst of laughing more than once.

Gramma – can I say? She’s properly awful, racist, delusional, yet I can’t say I didn’t enjoy her hateful rants. I mean, look at this! Isn’t it precious?

“They sent spies,” Gramma wet on, her voice a hush, “and they look like one man, but they can split in two, then four, and so on. I’ve seen it before. During the war. It’s a Communist trick and they taught it to the Democrats so that they could take our guns. I would have fought them off, but they already made the shotgun disappear.”

Yeah, right.

I thought the plot was interesting

Oh, man, we reached a new level here too. I thought I was stupid with thrillers before? I never, even once, guessed something here, and spent hours drowning under water as the clues were passing above me. Talk about a Sherlock. What a bad cop I would have been. *shiver*

Let’s go on the obvious side of things, shall we? This book is a game, and you’re gonna be played. Forget The Nod, forget the State sheriff …

” Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.”

… Welcome the Big Apple, its cops, its dark alleyways, its propensity to hide everybody in the shadows of anonymity –

“See this thing I drink from? I give it the label of “cup,” and so what? See this thing I cover my body with? I give it the label of “shirt,” and so what? See this thing I have opened to the darkening sky, allowing beautiful moonlight to shine within? I give it the label of “Jerome Herrigton,” and so what?”

Its cruelty and its atrocity, too, while we follow this killer whose murders can be seen as processes by which people are converted to objects. Denaturalized, denied of their rights to be called humans. Negated.

What is it that makes us human being?

“It’s great, Lana,” Jazz said enthusiastically. “I’ve seen the Statue of Liberty, and I’m also tracking a guy who takes people’s eyes, cuts off their dicks, and – on two occasions – leaves their guts in a KFC bucket. It’s awesome.”

I know, I KNOW, ew. Just EWW. I’m warning you that we come across some gruesome scenes here, with descriptions of dismemberment, explanations of how to remove an eye (grapefruit spoon – you’re welcome) and even if I can’t say that I was really scared, you need to prepare yourself to see, to feel the tension growing and growing and growing… until you’re barely breathing and – DON’T YOU DARE –

Why, thank you, Barry Lyga, for this awful cliffhanger! That was so nice of you!

Now, let me melt on the floor after this fucking (non)ending. Wait – who am I kidding? I’m going to start Blood of my Blood right now.

PS : I wanted to throw a little thank you here for that particular quote which managed to make me laugh when worry was eating me :

“The TV chattered. Someone said, “I was like, she is, like, so bitchy and, like, without any reason, you know?”

Ah, Reality TV shows. Always here when needed. ← Now, that’s irony.

Warning : Never, ever read the blurb of book 3, because they explain what happens at the end of this one^^ #SillyGR

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